Red Sox notes: Aceves 'solid' in first start

Red Sox notes: Aceves 'solid' in first start
April 12, 2013, 2:15 am
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BOSTON -- Right-hander Alfredo Aceves made his first start of the season Thursday, taking the rotation spot of John Lackey, who is on the disabled list with a right biceps strain. Aceves went five innings, giving up two runs on six hits and three walks with four strikeouts, in the Red Sox' 3-2 loss to the Orioles.

“[Aceves gave] us five solid innings of work,” manager John Farrell said. “[He] kept the game under control. I thought he managed the lineup well. With the exception of the solo home run on the 3-0 pitch by [Chris] Davis, I thought he worked his way around the lineup fairly well tonight.”

Aceves, who had been stretched out in spring training for this kind of situation, was not involved in the decision. 

“I feel okay,” he said. “Lasted five innings . . .  Unfortunately, we didn’t win the game. That’s all that matters.”

Aceves surrendered the second-inning home run to Davis, then gave up a two-out, game-tying single to Adam Jones in the fifth.

“I missed my spot,” he said of the pitch to Jones. “Nobody’s perfect. I missed my spot and he hit it. His approach, he was trying to go up the middle and got a good pitch to hit and hit it."

With five strikeouts in his last game, Saturday in Toronto, and four against the Blue Jays, he has recorded four or more strikeouts in back-to-back outings for the first time in his career.

Farrell said he expects Aceves to remain in the rotation.

“Right now, he’s on the line to make the next start,” Farrell said.

  • The Red Sox failed in the attempt to win their first three series to start a season for the first time since 1952.

  • The Sox are 5-0 when they score first, 0-4 when their opponents score first.

  • The Sox have lost 11 of their last 15 to the Orioles.

  • After allowing back-to-back home runs by Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia on Wednesday night, the O’s bullpen retired 14 consecutive Sox batters before Shane Victorino’s seventh-inning single on Thursday.

  • Mike Napoli went 2-for-4 with an RBI. In the third inning, he worked O’s starter Chris Tillman for a nine-pitch RBI single to left field. Although he is hitting just .211, Farrell said he has seen improvements recently. “You can see his timing getting a little more consistent," said the manager. "They’ve attacked him with fastballs away, up and down, away and some breaking balls. And he’s starting to foul some pitches off that maybe three, four days ago he wasn’t quite getting to. Yeah, he’s starting to settle in pretty good.”

  • Alex Wilson made his major-league debut, starting the ninth inning. He is the first Saudi Arabian-born pitcher to appear in a major-league game and just the second player overall, (Craig Stansberry, who played for the Padres in 2007-09, was he first). Wilson walked the first batter he faced, Manny Machado. He then get Nick Markakis to ground into a double play, and struck out Adam Jones.

  • Stephen Drew, who was activated for Wednesday’s game after starting the season on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion, went to the plate in the ninth inning looking for his first hit of the season. He was 0-for-5 with two walks. With one out, he lined a single into center field off Baltimore closer Jim Johnson. “Feel good,” Drew said. “It’s been good to get back in there. I felt like tonight I had some really good ABs, worked the counts, and just going to keep doing that throughout the year, and see what happens.”

  • Dustin Pedroia went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a strikeout, and is hitting .314 this season. He has reached base safely in all nine games this season, the longest such streak of his career to start a season. Going back to last Sept. 21, he has reached base in 19 straight games. In that stretch he is batting .329, going 23-for-70, with 6 doubles and 12 walks.

  • Daniel Nava went 1-for-4 and is batting .421. He has reached base in 16 consecutive games going back to last season. He also extended his home hitting streak to 11 starts, dating back to Aug. 21, 2012, the longest such streak of his career. He has a career .410 on-base percentage at Fenway Park.